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Heaven or Hell
A man and his rat terrier dog were walking along a road. The man was just enjoying the
scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying and the
dog had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them. After a while
they came to a high white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine
marble. At the top of a long hill it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the
sunlight. When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked
like mother of pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and
the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer he saw a man at a desk to one side.
When he was close enough he called out, "Excuse me, where are we?"
"This is heaven, sir," the man answered. "Wow! Would you happen to
have some water?" the man asked. "Of course, sir. Come right in and I'll have
some ice water brought right up." The man gestured, and the gate began to open.
"Can my dog come in too?" the traveler asked. "I'm sorry, sir, but we don't
accept pets. The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued
the way he had been going. After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill,
he came to a dirt road which led through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been
closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate he saw a man inside, leaning against
a tree and reading a book. "Excuse me" he called to the reader, "Do you
have any water?" "Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there." The man pointed
to a place that couldn't be seen from outside the gate.